Alliance Councillor David Alderdice has said cool heads will be required in East Belfast over the next few days if fatalities are to be avoided.
“I spent most of today visiting the communities affected by this serious violence in East Belfast. Clearly there has been trouble emanating from both sides, and having heard both sides blame each other, I am in no position to point the finger at anyone for starting it.”
“But what I have seen appals me. I spoke to a number of elderly residents from Cluan Place who are frankly living in fear of their lives. Equally, when I visited the people of the Short Strand on the other side of the so-called peace line, I witnessed a community in fear.”
“There are two communities in Belfast which are under siege at the moment, and it will take an enormous and concerted ongoing effort to bring this to an end.”
“Other political and community representatives from the republican and loyalist communities have been in the areas, and I can only trust that they are doing their utmost to bring those behind the violence back from the brink, otherwise I fear that lives will be lost in the coming days.”
“I myself am willing to speak to both sides in this dispute, and continue to exercise whatever influence I can to stop the stone and bomb throwing and shooting which has been happening.”
“As for our position on the Lord Mayor situation, while it has not changed, we will be keeping the situation under constant review.”